Newton Tanzania Collaborative http://newtontanzania.org Global Partnerships. Global Initiative. Global Impact. Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:34:59 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.2 en hourly 1 Sympathy T-Shirt Blankets http://newtontanzania.org/sympathy-t-shirt-blankets http://newtontanzania.org/sympathy-t-shirt-blankets#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 14:33:05 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3910 Turn their t-shirts into a blanket

We know how difficult it is to think about moving forward when a loved one dies. We also understand all the memories that clothes hold, and we thought there should be an easier, and more affordable way to preserve the memories of our friends and family members. It’s a sympathy and bereavement gift that lasts forever. Order today and we’ll send you a prepaid envelope for shipping your loved ones’ shirts to us for free. Or, order our gift box and have it sent to a friend or family member.

An alternative to temporary flowers, choose these memorial sympathy t-shirt blankets as a tribute in remembrance of a family member or friend.

Don’t pay up to 500 dollars for a t-shirt quilt. The best way to preserve your t-shirt memories is with MemorialBlankets.

Order here and use the discount code “tanzania” (case sensitive) at checkout to get 10% off and give a 10% donation to building libraries in Tanzania!

Order yours today

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Beautiful T-Shirt Quilts http://newtontanzania.org/beautiful-t-shirt-blankets http://newtontanzania.org/beautiful-t-shirt-blankets#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:02:13 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3874 Turn your t-shirts into a t-shirt quilt!

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As low as $55 with discount code! – Choose from 5 sizes! BEST PRICE GUARANTEED!

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Don’t pay up to 500 dollars for a t-shirt quilt. The best way to preserve your t-shirt memories is a t-shirt quilt with Project Repat.

Order here and use the discount code “tanzania” (case sensitive) at checkout to get 10% off and give a 10% donation to building libraries in Tanzania!

Makes a great wedding, graduation, and birthday gift! Our blankets are backed with PolarTec fleece  and hand-designed by our in-house designers.

Order yours today!!

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The Most Amazing Products are Made Entirely Out of Used T-Shirts… http://newtontanzania.org/projectrepat http://newtontanzania.org/projectrepat#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:59:11 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3815 Click to see the most amazing skirts, bags, and scarves…eco-friendly and for a great cause.

All our products are made entirely out of t-shirts that are dumped on the developing world. We partner with and pay fair wages to artisans in Nairobi, Kenya, and donate all profits to great non-profits like NTC. Check out our amazing products today!

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University Groups http://newtontanzania.org/university-groups http://newtontanzania.org/university-groups#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:28:35 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3795 Bring your University Group to Tanzania with NTC…

Signs 2009 - 003_edited-1Latrines-2009---021image

…and experience Tanzania the way it was meant to be experienced!

Tanzania 291Thousands of people visit Tanzania each year without ever experiencing the beautiful culture and communities that make up the majority of the country. While Tanzania does in fact host some of the world’s best wildlife, national parks, and scenery, it is a shame to visit Tanzania without connecting to its strongest asset: the culture and people.

NTC has created a trip to Tanzania that covers all the bases. Enjoy the natural beauty that Tanzania has to offer, while building relationships and participating in projects that will benefit the youth of Tanzania and impact generations to come.

An NTC two week trip to Tanzania includes:

  • Visiting the rural community of Kwala for cultural exchange and community service activities, including visits to Kwala Secondary School and primary schools in the Kwala Ward
  • A two day safari in Tanzania’s Mkumi National Park
  • A two night stay in historic and beautiful Zanzibar
  • A tour of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital city

Watch a Video from an NTC trip to Kwala!

Trip Costs and Dates

Tanzania 380Trip dates are flexible, but need to be coordinated with the Tanzanian school schedule. Please fill out the inquiry form below and let us know when you are interested in traveling!

The total price of the trip is $2,500, and is 100% tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Included in the price of the trip:

  • All Accommodations and hotels
  • Three meals per day
  • In-country transport on a private mini-bus
  • Two nights in Zanzibar
  • Safari and accommodations at Mikumi National Park
  • Swahili Lessons
  • A day tour of Dar es Salaam
  • Group cell phones and starting phone credit
  • Full on site coordination by NTC
  • Two on the ground orientation sessions
  • Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-departure trainings from NTC

*please note – cost of trip does not include airfare, shots, medications, or visas for entry to Tanzania

NTC is a 501 (c) (3) organization based in Newton, Massachusetts.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact RLohr@NewtonTanzania.org or fill out this inquiry form and we will contact you:

Community Service

TanzaniansWithBooksNTC is expanding its successful Village Reading Corner initiative to include two additional primary schools in the Kwala Ward and connect 10 classrooms in the United States and Tanzania through the lens of a Tanzanian children’s story. NTC will build libraries at Dutumi and Mdege Primary Schools in the Kwala Ward and stock them with textbooks this summer, replicating the success of similar libraries at Mahundi Primary School and Kwala Secondary School. Children in Tanzania do not have access to critical learning materials, such as textbooks and other reading materials. Constructing libraries, filling them with textbooks, and training staff and students how to run a library and teach effectively using textbooks will provide more than 300 students at each school with a proper education and spread the love of reading to children who have not experienced it firsthand.
Participants in NTC’s summer trip will help construct one of the two libraries at Mdege and Ditumi Primary Schools, in addition to teaching English and conducting library trainings for the teachers at the schools.

Cultural Exchange

Tanzania 872Visiting Kwala with NTC allows you to connect to a real Tanzanian Community. NTC has fostered a relationship with Kwala since 2006, initiating three school-to-school cultural exchange partnerships, supporting exchange visits to and from Kwala, and completing high-impact projects suggested by the community to improve education throughout the Kwala community. This relationship allows visitors to truly connect to the Kwala community. Visit classrooms at the primary and secondary school, drink sodas with the villagers, and visit real Tanzanian homes…the possibilities are endless.

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High School Groups http://newtontanzania.org/high-school-groups http://newtontanzania.org/high-school-groups#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:26:53 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3791 Bring your High School Group to Tanzania with NTC…

Signs 2009 - 003_edited-1Latrines-2009---021image

…and experience Tanzania the way it was meant to be experienced!

Tanzania 291Thousands of people visit Tanzania each year without ever experiencing the beautiful culture and communities that make up the majority of the country. While Tanzania does in fact host some of the world’s best wildlife, national parks, and scenery, it is a shame to visit Tanzania without connecting to its strongest asset: the culture and people.

NTC has created a trip to Tanzania that covers all the bases. Enjoy the natural beauty that Tanzania has to offer, while building relationships and participating in projects that will benefit the youth of Tanzania and impact generations to come.

An NTC two week trip to Tanzania includes:

  • Visiting the rural community of Kwala for cultural exchange and community service activities, including visits to Kwala Secondary School and primary schools in the Kwala Ward
  • A two day safari in Tanzania’s Mkumi National Park
  • A two night stay in historic and beautiful Zanzibar
  • A tour of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital city

Watch a Video from an NTC trip to Kwala!

Trip Costs and Dates

Tanzania 380Trip dates are flexible, but need to be coordinated with the Tanzanian school schedule. Please fill out the inquiry form below and let us know when you are interested in traveling!

The total price of the trip is $2,500, and is 100% tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Included in the price of the trip:

  • All Accommodations and hotels
  • Three meals per day
  • In-country transport on a private mini-bus
  • Two nights in Zanzibar
  • Safari and accommodations at Mikumi National Park
  • Swahili Lessons
  • A day tour of Dar es Salaam
  • Group cell phones and starting phone credit
  • Full on site coordination by NTC
  • Two on the ground orientation sessions
  • Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-departure trainings from NTC

*please note – cost of trip does not include airfare, shots, medications, or visas for entry to Tanzania

NTC is a 501 (c) (3) organization based in Newton, Massachusetts.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact RLohr@NewtonTanzania.org or fill out this inquiry form and we will contact you:

Community Service

TanzaniansWithBooksNTC is expanding its successful Village Reading Corner initiative to include two additional primary schools in the Kwala Ward and connect 10 classrooms in the United States and Tanzania through the lens of a Tanzanian children’s story. NTC will build libraries at Dutumi and Mdege Primary Schools in the Kwala Ward and stock them with textbooks this summer, replicating the success of similar libraries at Mahundi Primary School and Kwala Secondary School. Children in Tanzania do not have access to critical learning materials, such as textbooks and other reading materials. Constructing libraries, filling them with textbooks, and training staff and students how to run a library and teach effectively using textbooks will provide more than 300 students at each school with a proper education and spread the love of reading to children who have not experienced it firsthand.
Participants in NTC’s summer trip will help construct one of the two libraries at Mdege and Ditumi Primary Schools, in addition to teaching English and conducting library trainings for the teachers at the schools.

Cultural Exchange

Tanzania 872Visiting Kwala with NTC allows you to connect to a real Tanzanian Community. NTC has fostered a relationship with Kwala since 2006, initiating three school-to-school cultural exchange partnerships, supporting exchange visits to and from Kwala, and completing high-impact projects suggested by the community to improve education throughout the Kwala community. This relationship allows visitors to truly connect to the Kwala community. Visit classrooms at the primary and secondary school, drink sodas with the villagers, and visit real Tanzanian homes…the possibilities are endless.

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Temples and Synagogues http://newtontanzania.org/temples-and-synagogues http://newtontanzania.org/temples-and-synagogues#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:24:02 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3784 Bring your temple or synagogue to Tanzania with NTC…

Signs 2009 - 003_edited-1Latrines-2009---021image

…and experience Tanzania the way it was meant to be experienced!

Tanzania 291Thousands of people visit Tanzania each year without ever experiencing the beautiful culture and communities that make up the majority of the country. While Tanzania does in fact host some of the world’s best wildlife, national parks, and scenery, it is a shame to visit Tanzania without connecting to its strongest asset: the culture and people.

NTC has created a trip to Tanzania that covers all the bases. Enjoy the natural beauty that Tanzania has to offer, while building relationships and participating in projects that will benefit the youth of Tanzania and impact generations to come.

An NTC two week trip to Tanzania includes:

  • Visiting the rural community of Kwala for cultural exchange and community service activities
  • A two day safari in Tanzania’s Mkumi National Park
  • A two night stay in historic and beautiful Zanzibar
  • A tour of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital city

Watch a Video from an NTC trip to Kwala!

Trip Costs and Dates

Tanzania 380Trip dates are flexible, but need to be coordinated with the Tanzanian school schedule. Please fill out the inquiry form below and let us know when you are interested in traveling!

The total price of the trip is $2,500, and is 100% tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Included in the price of the trip:

  • All Accommodations and hotels
  • Three meals per day
  • In-country transport on a private mini-bus
  • Two nights in Zanzibar
  • Safari and accommodations at Mikumi National Park
  • Swahili Lessons
  • A day tour of Dar es Salaam
  • Group cell phones and starting phone credit
  • Full on site coordination by NTC
  • Two on the ground orientation sessions
  • Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-departure trainings from NTC

*please note – cost of trip does not include airfare, shots, medications, or visas for entry to Tanzania

NTC is a 501 (c) (3) organization based in Newton, Massachusetts.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact RLohr@NewtonTanzania.org or fill out this inquiry form and we will contact you:

Community Service

TanzaniansWithBooksNTC is expanding its successful Village Reading Corner initiative to include two additional primary schools in the Kwala Ward and connect 10 classrooms in the United States and Tanzania through the lens of a Tanzanian children’s story. NTC will build libraries at Dutumi and Mdege Primary Schools in the Kwala Ward and stock them with textbooks this summer, replicating the success of similar libraries at Mahundi Primary School and Kwala Secondary School. Children in Tanzania do not have access to critical learning materials, such as textbooks and other reading materials. Constructing libraries, filling them with textbooks, and training staff and students how to run a library and teach effectively using textbooks will provide more than 300 students at each school with a proper education and spread the love of reading to children who have not experienced it firsthand.
Participants in NTC’s summer trip will help construct one of the two libraries at Mdege and Ditumi Primary Schools, in addition to teaching English and conducting library trainings for the teachers at the schools.

Cultural Exchange

Tanzania 872Visiting Kwala with NTC allows you to connect to a real Tanzanian Community. NTC has fostered a relationship with Kwala since 2006, initiating three school-to-school cultural exchange partnerships, supporting exchange visits to and from Kwala, and completing high-impact projects suggested by the community to improve education throughout the Kwala community. This relationship allows visitors to truly connect to the Kwala community. Visit classrooms at the primary and secondary school, drink sodas with the villagers, and visit real Tanzanian homes…the possibilities are endless.

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Church Groups http://newtontanzania.org/church-groups http://newtontanzania.org/church-groups#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:20:53 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3781 Bring your church to Tanzania with NTC…

Signs 2009 - 003_edited-1Latrines-2009---021image

…and experience Tanzania the way it was meant to be experienced!

Tanzania 291Thousands of people visit Tanzania each year without ever experiencing the beautiful culture and communities that make up the majority of the country. While Tanzania does in fact host some of the world’s best wildlife, national parks, and scenery, it is a shame to visit Tanzania without connecting to its strongest asset: the culture and people.

NTC has created a trip to Tanzania that covers all the bases. Enjoy the natural beauty that Tanzania has to offer, while building relationships and participating in projects that will benefit the youth of Tanzania and impact generations to come.

An NTC two week trip to Tanzania includes:

  • Visiting the rural community of Kwala for cultural exchange and community service activities, including visits to Kwala’s churches
  • A two day safari in Tanzania’s Mkumi National Park
  • A two night stay in historic and beautiful Zanzibar
  • A tour of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital city

Watch a Video from an NTC trip to Kwala!

Trip Costs and Dates

Tanzania 380Trip dates are flexible, but need to be coordinated with the Tanzanian school schedule. Please fill out the inquiry form below and let us know when you are interested in traveling!

The total price of the trip is $2,500, and is 100% tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Included in the price of the trip:

  • All Accommodations and hotels
  • Three meals per day
  • In-country transport on a private mini-bus
  • Two nights in Zanzibar
  • Safari and accommodations at Mikumi National Park
  • Swahili Lessons
  • A day tour of Dar es Salaam
  • Group cell phones and starting phone credit
  • Full on site coordination by NTC
  • Two on the ground orientation sessions
  • Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-departure trainings from NTC

*please note – cost of trip does not include airfare, shots, medications, or visas for entry to Tanzania

NTC is a 501 (c) (3) organization based in Newton, Massachusetts.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact RLohr@NewtonTanzania.org or fill out this inquiry form and we will contact you:

Community Service

TanzaniansWithBooksNTC is expanding its successful Village Reading Corner initiative to include two additional primary schools in the Kwala Ward and connect 10 classrooms in the United States and Tanzania through the lens of a Tanzanian children’s story. NTC will build libraries at Dutumi and Mdege Primary Schools in the Kwala Ward and stock them with textbooks this summer, replicating the success of similar libraries at Mahundi Primary School and Kwala Secondary School. Children in Tanzania do not have access to critical learning materials, such as textbooks and other reading materials. Constructing libraries, filling them with textbooks, and training staff and students how to run a library and teach effectively using textbooks will provide more than 300 students at each school with a proper education and spread the love of reading to children who have not experienced it firsthand.
Participants in NTC’s summer trip will help construct one of the two libraries at Mdege and Ditumi Primary Schools, in addition to teaching English and conducting library trainings for the teachers at the schools.

Cultural Exchange

Tanzania 872Visiting Kwala with NTC allows you to connect to a real Tanzanian Community. NTC has fostered a relationship with Kwala since 2006, initiating three school-to-school cultural exchange partnerships, supporting exchange visits to and from Kwala, and completing high-impact projects suggested by the community to improve education throughout the Kwala community. This relationship allows visitors to truly connect to the Kwala community. Visit classrooms at the primary and secondary school, drink sodas with the villagers, visit Kwala’s different church groups, and visit real Tanzanian homes…the possibilities are endless.

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Live from Kwala August 2010 – March 2011 http://newtontanzania.org/live-from-kwala-august-2010-march-2011 http://newtontanzania.org/live-from-kwala-august-2010-march-2011#comments Sun, 31 Jul 2011 14:55:26 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=3728 March 8th, 2011: Contributed by Alex Rosenberg

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March has been crazy busy. I spent the end of February up to last Friday preparing for the Kwala Committee Meeting, the first of 2011 at the Kwala Clinic and Dispensary. These meetings bring together the heads of Kwala Secondary School, Mahundi Primary School, the local government, and the clinic. We come to discuss past and current NTC projects, issues concerning education, and potential initiatives proposed by the different groups. This means meeting with each group to discuss projects; pestering them to come up with a budget and finish on time; rescheduling when they cancel; coming again; writing the proposals; translating the documents; briefing them on the agenda; sending endless reminders through text messages; and then, well…the actual meeting.

So when the rain started to pour even before we left for the clinic, I pretty much lost it. Insert picture of steam coming from Alex’s ears, face red as a beet. But I took a deep breath and said it was okay. I couldn’t control everything even though I wanted it to be perfect. At that point I relinquished myself to whatever would follow, come rain or sunshine.

But the rain slowed to a drizzle, we bought sodas, and everyone arrived on time. The previous antagonisms and subterranean hostilities that were present in the last KCM appeared to be absent now. We even made jokes and laughed during the meeting. Perhaps tensions were eased by the charming and ever-appeasing Mr. Mitmingi, who took the place of the KWASS headmaster (he couldn’t attend). We have welcomed Mr. Mitmingi into the NTC family since he now acts as the second headmaster. Or perhaps it was the cramped room of the clinic that fostered the casual atmosphere since we were forced to huddle together rather than speak at an imposing distance from one and another.

Either way, I would say that of the three Kwala Committee Meetings I’ve participated in, this one was the most effective. Communication is key; people chose to speak freely, expressing their thoughts and opinions and asking questions about the NTC projects. A few days later, I talked to one member who agreed, as he said that they were able to clear up confusion over how funds were being used for different projects.

Mahundi proposed a new project to stock classrooms with textbooks and a new a cupboard to store the books. The increase of textbooks will reduce the number of students sharing textbooks by 50-75%. The committee unanimously approved it, a decision so implicit that we had to double check that everyone agreed.

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After the meeting, we shook hands and dashed right off to Dar es Salaam for a special mission. Marika and I were tasked with purchasing t-shirts for Project Repat, an exciting assignment and welcomed break from our normal schedules. We had a lot of fun rifling through piles and piles of t-shirts, examining the pictures and texts, and then yelling at each other from afar when we found something hysterical. On Sunday, Baba Msangi joined us to look for shirts around the Ubungo markets, and we had a nice lunch together. Of course that was ruined when clumsy Alex proceeded to spill soda all over Msangi. Not the first time, I can assure you. We packed a total of 125 shirts and sent them off to Arusha by bus. It was difficult not to keep them for ourselves, they were so cool. But I’d rather see some lucky hipster in America wearing them!

February 27th, 2011: Contributed by Marika Mura

Travelling on the pikipiki on the way to Kwala I feel amazing to discover how green is the countryside around us. Few days of rain have changed all the scenery around us.

Kids greet me with big smiles, waving their hands. I wonder why they are not in school. I feel sad; there must be so many kids in Tanzania that live in the outskirts of the world, confined to their small reality, working in the land under the sun with no possibility to attend any school. Every time I run on a pikipiki I remember why I am here. I realize the importance of our small projects, I think believing in dreams it’s the start to make great things. And I see hope in the eyes of the kids in Kwala, when they ask me and Alex for books. NTC has brought great changes, thanks especially to the determination of Lisa, which made the kids love the books and the wazungu.

On these pikipiki rides I also think at how lucky I feel. I had everything I wanted from life, all the support I needed during my studies and an easy life. I wish my students could be able one day to feel in the same way. During last week we have chosen the new girls to sponsor through NTC, and I really want to thank the sponsors, hoping that this will be a new start for Sijapata, Zuhura, Joyce and Aruna. Their academic performance is not great, but they try their best. I think what is more important is their attitude towards education, their willing to learn and to get a better future. Maybe their performance will get better now that we are supporting them with school material, allowing them to sleep and eat in the school. I think we found the right girls to sponsor. They have great problems in their families, but they also have big dreams for their future. I really wish we can help them realize their ambitions. We are helping them to build their future. Maybe one day they will look back and feel lucky too.

The adult English classes have started again, with old and new students. It is surprising how different it is to teach to them and to teach to a class of teenagers, or in the case of Alex, to a class of kids. Teaching is a hard job! I had my bad moments few days ago. Unfortunately no matter how hard I try sometimes I realise the “kids” do not take English seriously. And this is mainly because they are not afraid of me. I tried with the idea “if I respect them they will surely respect me” and also “They should study because they understand the importance of it and not because they are afraid of me”. But let’s be honest. We are talking about teenagers. And at their age I was exactly like them. Of course they care more about friends, and love-stories-drama. Of course they don’t do the homework if there is no material reward to gain, or no material punishment (for them this means corporal punishment, or hard work under a boiling sun). Understand the importance of education? Listen to adults? Parents’ supervision? Western ideas. Here the reality is another. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating. I came back with a clear objective. Make the most of my students pass Form two examination. If they fail, I fail. And even if sometimes they give me a hard time, they also are the reason of my presence here. They make my days, with smiles, happiness or anger and frustration.

Next week there will be the Kwala Committee meeting, and it will be hosted by the clinic. We hope to get some good projects ‘proposals, so we can start another great project!

Alex started teaching computers to the kids at the primary school, with the project OXO “one laptop per child”. Grande Alex. I wish we could have more than 5 laptops. I look forward to start again the computer lessons at the secondary school.

Looking forward to the next pikipiki ride under the rain,

Tutaonana Jamani!

January 31st, 2011: Contributed by Alex Rosenberg


After a difficult week, Marika and I are happily back in Kwala. We have resumed our teaching—she at Kwala Secondary School and I at Mahundi Primary School. There is a current lack of teachers at KWASS, so Marika has taken over both Form 1 and 2 English. I have followed my Standard 4 students from last year to Standard 5. The curriculum is remarkably more demanding, and my expectations have risen after seeing how the Standard 7 and Form 4 students fared on their final exams. It is quite easy to fall into the habit of paying attention only to the good students since they are ones who volunteer answers in class. But the ones who need help the most are quiet. So Cool-Teacher-Alex has left the classroom. He has been replaced by Strict-But-Nice-Teacher-Alex. Yes, I will call on you if you aren’t paying attention. Yes, you have homework every day. No, you can’t write in sentence fragments. In only three years, my students will be required to write in English for the majority of their tests in Secondary School. If they pass the Standard 7 exam, that is. I am trying to prepare them as best as I can. If I can successfully teach the Standard 5 curriculum, they will be well on their way.

The Book Voucher Program at Mahundi Primary School is carrying on at its weekly pace. Students have been demanding English-Swahili and Swahili-English dictionaries, and after finishing our recent supply of books, we have fulfilled their wish with a recent visit to the book publisher Mkuki na Nyota. Really, these dictionaries are extremely helpful. They allow students to translate texts from English to Swahili for reading comprehension and to construct sentences in English for writing assignments. Even adults in Kwala have been asking for the dictionaries—just for their personal use. I can’t wait to introduce them into the Adult English program, where they will be a big hit.

Marika and I are in the process of selecting new girls for the NTC Girls Scholarship program. The difficult part is trying to balance the student’s financial need with her academic achievement. Similar to the education gap in America, the problem in Kwala is that often the students who perform well in school are the ones who come from well-off families. They are already able to pay their tuition fees. Their families understand the value of education and encourage them to attend school rather than to stay at home and help make money. I see students milling around in the street and ask them why they are not in school. Marika and I have travelled as far as Mlandizi to investigate why a certain student hasn’t returned this year. They all reply that they have no money. But from past experience, we hesitate to enroll students into the NTC Girls Scholarship program without academic promise. Too often, it seems as though goodwill can be misconstrued as handouts, which are then taken for granted. It can be trying, but I am sure we will find the right new girls.

January 6th, 2011: Contributed by Marika Mura

61087_10150275007065501_504915500_14923931_4589159_nAnd so, here we come. I’m trying to write my first blog sitting on the balcony of my house in Italy, during these last days of crazy holiday before going back to Kwala. It was very sad news to hear that Emma is not going back to Kwala. She was my dearest friend over there for 5 months, and we basically did everything together. It was however a pleasure to discover that Ross thought I could deal with the responsibilities of NTC Project Director in Kwala and could try to take her place and help Alex.

I arrived in Kwala in July, with another volunteer organisation. However, despite having made a “donation” to the organisation I immediately realised that the organisation I left with had no presence in the village of Kwala, and no projects (they later said to me I was their project (?)…. mah!). Having left London with the concern of friends and family who all thought I was crazy to leave to Tanzania by myself, I started to feel a bit crazy myself as I was on a motorbike to Kwala the first day in July. It had always been my dream, but I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself. It was a relief to meet Lisa a few days after I arrived. She introduced me to the people in the village, giving me that confidence I didn’t yet have. NTC was my real support in Kwala. Then Alex and Emma arrived, school started, and we had a group of volunteers for few weeks to keep us busy. The first month flew by very quickly, I was supposed to only stay for two and a half months. I soon realised that I wanted to stay longer. I hadn’t even learnt the names of all my students yet. The community was extremely welcoming, and my students… oh well, it’s impossible not to love them! In brief, I changed my ticket home until December. I was going to stay in Kwala for 5 months now. I can say that my decision was quite a surprise, for myself first, but also for Alex and Emma, and the rest of the community I was close to in Kwala. But I can honestly say it was probably one of the best decisions I ever took, changing the path of my life completely and giving my experience a whole new flavour.

73108_10150326185865501_504915500_15906387_3677644_nI soon realised even December was too close. I was going to come back in January. And I was mostly doing that for my students. I promised, I didn’t say goodbye. And so here I am, thinking back at my experience so far, and thanking my family and NTC for giving me the opportunity to carry on with this great experience. I heard so many people calling me brave and congratulating me for the life I chose. For me this is the best life I could live, and I do not regret choosing to live without comforts if this means being happy and trying to improve the life of other people that are less lucky than us. Living without comfort…it’s not as hard as it may seem, when you are surrounded by smiles and life seems so easy and rich. Really I have Kwala in my heart, and I guess each one of us has. Working with NTC will be a great experience, and an honour, since a small organisation has proven to be much more meaningful than other big organisations, dealing with the real exigencies of the community and trying to build hopes and friendship. I will join Alex in Dar Es Salaam the 16th, in 10 days, excited and ready to start again. Tutaonana badaaye!

November 11th, 2010: Contributed by Emma Cohan

Ndugu ya NTC,

My apologies for not updating the blog recently. Maybe I am settling into village life a little too well, because I now appear to be on Tanzanian time with my deadlines. The past few weeks have also thrown me a few curveballs. Alex, my fellow coordinator, had to depart suddenly for scholarship interviews. I had to spend almost a week in Dar navigating the treacherous waters of Tanzanian bureaucracy to avoid getting deported. Now I have only a little over two weeks to get all the NTC business in order before the holidays. Yikes.

Right now the Kwala Committee is working to get electricity to Mahundi Primary School. The proposal was passed at last month’s Kwala Committee meeting with the stipulation that the committee meet again to choose the Fundi (or workman) who will do the wiring. So this meeting was held Tuesday. It was actually just a follow up meeting, so less intense than usual, but I was pretty nervous because it was my first time conducting NTC business as sole project director. Then the head teacher of Mahundi, and point person for the project, didn’t show up (it turned out he had been called away to a seminar, information that would have been helpful to have been given a heads up about). Next, the committee called for an additional budget that I hadn’t thought to prepare. By this point I was pretty much panicking, thinking that the meeting was just going to fail. But somehow it didn’t. With the village chairman’s help, we managed to get the meeting back on track.

We interviewed both potential fundi’s about their qualifications, expenses, and timelines. Each of the members listened carefully, took notes, and asked thoughtful questions. Then the Fundis left and we settled in to make our choice. It kind of made me feel like we were on So You Think You Can Dance judging contestants (minus all the dramatic pauses from Cat Deeley). The deliberation was actually pretty simple and we arrived at a unanimous decision quickly. After outlining a few of the next steps for the project, the meeting concluded. Thus, it appears the project is well underway, and if all goes to plan (which lets face it, in Tanzania it rarely does) it should be completed in a few weeks. But even more importantly, of course, I survived my first solo committee meeting! Go me!

This week, in addition to stepping up for NTC, I also had to put my leadership abilities to the test in throwing my and Marika’s first party here in honor of Marika’s birthday. Arranging social engagements has never been a strength of mine, and as usual we left it to the last minute. Figuring out who to invite, how much food to cook, and how to get all the awesome African jams we love to dance to became a little stressful. Marika, Lilian (our friend and housemate), and I started cooking around 5pm, figuring three hours would be enough (of course it wasn’t and the food was an hour late). Meanwhile other friends went to get sodas and set up speakers. So we were all assembled, Marika, myself, most of the Secondary staff, plus some other special guests, by 9pm and ready to chow down. The only issue was that in Tanzania all celebrations are sort of “MC”ed by a host, so as the main “thrower” of the party that responsibility fell to me. Which meant welcoming everyone in terrible Swahili, calling up guests in the correct order to get food, making time for speeches to Marika, deciding when to do cake, and finally opening the floor for dancing. With some prodding from the headmaster, I managed to awkwardly succeed, but it wasn’t until most of the guests departed around 11 pm that I managed to really relax and join the festivities wholeheartedly. Then a small group of us tore up the dance floor (or as Alex likes to say, danced it out) for another few hours, way past midnight, in accordance with true Kwalan tradition. It was an exhausting, but totally worthwhile night, and our Kwala friends told us that they appreciated greatly being part of a real “mzungu” birthday party celebration. In fact, they said, they want to see the tradition expand amongst themselves. I just hope this doesn’t entail Marika and I having to make birthday cakes for everyone in Kwala from now on, haha.

So I think that about sums up the Kwala happenings for the time being. I hope you enjoyed hearing a little about both the professional and personal side of living in here.

Thanks for reading!

Emma

October 11th, 2010: Contributed by Alex Rosenberg

On the front of Mahundi primary school there are large letters that read, “Elimu ni ukombozi.” Roughly translated, they mean, “Education is Freedom.” But this freedom has nuances. According to one of the primary school teachers, ukombozi is like struggling in the dark and then coming into the light. The teacher waved her hand over the whole of the school and explained, “It is just something to keep in mind as motivation.” So education is freedom; it is light; it is this and that—an ennobling ideal. And it serves as a reminder not only to teachers, but also to students and parents. I think about the phrase every time I return to the school for our NTC Adult English program. We have just begun to teach adults English language skills within the Kwala village. Now—the hope is—the village as a whole will also recognize and appreciate the phrase.

The classes are going well. We tackle difficult grammar topics like verbs, subjects, pronouns, and adjectives. We build our classes around certain vocabulary sets: greetings, family, work, school, etc. The participants listen intently and repeat the words out loud. They guess what action we are portraying as we act out verbs. But how do we describe a grammar rule that does not exist in Swahili? That is when we get creative.

One participant wears a crooked smile that jerks up and down with the foreign contortions of the phrase: “I….am….from…Kwala.” Each word is announced into the air with visible effort. She laughs when I instruct her in Swahili to ask her husband the same questions. I smile and wait for her to proceed.

The adults in the English class are hungry to learn. They finish their homework before they even leave the classroom, and those who are courageous may ask us questions. No one forces them to come or beats them if they stay at home. They have traveled through life a little longer than regular students. Perhaps they see the importance of education—any education, however large or small. And as a teacher from the secondary school explained it to me, their friends will become jealous that they are learning English and will join the class. So education is also a distinction; it is a status marker; and perhaps it is contagious.

People come from all over the village. There are those whom I recognize from other areas of my life in Kwala: Omari, the village representative, Mama Muhsin, my host mother, and Zaina, who runs the Village Reading Corner. However, one of the greatest rewards from the NTC Adult English program is that I am able to connect with adults whom I would not normally encounter during my time working with the schools.  Here, is a forum. Here, is an ongoing dialogue: half in English, half in Swahili. We come together with a purpose to learn from one another.

The best part is that I can bug my students in English now. I get to sneak up on them from behind, call out something like, Good Afternoon! They turn around, stunned for a second, in the middle of buying food from a shop or talking to a friend. If they have some background in English, they reply, and the conversation goes from there. So far, it has yet to end.

September 12th, 2010: Contributed by Emma Cohan

As I write this I am sitting on our porch, watching darkness start to win the battle against the pink tinged sky, finding myself pleading with the universe to make the sunset last just a little longer. In the cool serenity that settles in around Kwala in the early evening I feel so completely at ease. I watch the chickens amble around, see the students across the way washing their clothes in bright orange buckets, and hear the sounds of bongo flavor and political speeches intermingling in the air. It is hard to remember in these moments the searing heat of the afternoon or the mosquitoes that will soon be on the attack. For a couple hours Kwala feels like paradise and the educational, economic, and health issues we are working to improve slide to the background. All I feel is joy and gratitude to be living here and experiencing my senses overwhelmed with the beauty of golden sinking light over the Kwala Kwala trees and shrubs.

I am in a particularly peaceful mood right now because this evening marks the end of a three day holiday weekend celebrating the conclusion of Ramadan. I had never celebrated Eid before, but Kwala was the perfect place to change that. Tanzania is about half Muslim, so it is a very important occasion for the whole community. Families come together from far and wide. It was wonderful because I got to eat delicious arrays of food, meet new members of our host family, and be invited to many gatherings. The only downside were some awkward interactions around families tried to set me up with visiting sons.

Looking back on the weekend I realize that I have crossed a juncture in adjusting to life here. While I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, I remember my first several weeks I felt so timid and embarrassed by my bad Swahili that being around the villagers for too long was scary. I liked to stride through the village quickly, preferably with another of the volunteers at my side, exchanging hellos but little else. The communication barriers greatly restricted who I could talk to and learn from here. Recently, however, I have begun to actually take the villagers up on their offers to come over to visit or chat. Even though I still understand only about ten percent of what they say, I find myself somehow able to scrape together some sort of conversation or jokes that go a little past greeting. It may not sound like much, but as a result I feel so much more connected to the essence of the community.

Usually the conversations are very simple and revolve around the host offering me something they are cooking. However, a few times the chats have become surprisingly in-depth, evolving into family histories that usually include picture showing. These stories are often marred by accounts of tragic losses from malaria. In these moments I find myself at a loss, equipped only with the words “pole sana” which seem hardly adequate to express the sympathy I want to offer. It is hard to be here and see a curable disease causing so much suffering. Even though I am proud to be working with NTC to improve education, which ultimately benefits economic opportunities and health for the village, it is still difficult to feel powerless against such a widespread problem that doesn’t exist in the Western world.

But for now I let the large local troubles fade away as I look up at the stars that have emerged over the course of my writing. The electricity has just gone out for the village, a fairly regular occurrence here. I should be frustrated, like everyone else, but all I can think of is how romantic the house looks when lit by torch lamps and how nice the stargazing will be. I better rest up tonight because we have a very important week ahead. Form IV is graduating on Wednesday and we have all spent the past two weeks practicing and planning for it at the Secondary School. Keep your fingers crossed that I won’t get called on to give a speech in Swahili.

Usiku mwema!

Emma

September 2nd, 2010: Contributed by Project Director Alex Rosenberg

The crowd of children was growing larger. They sat before me in a circle as we read in Kiswahili the story of Katope, a boy made from dirt so that his parents could have a child. I gazed around the circle of faces and saw some of the children reading along with the books I had provided, others listening in concentration. Their expressions slowly opened like morning flowers with delight, both from the story itself and from the sheer realization that they, too, understood the story. Suddenly, the world did not feel so staggeringly vast, nor the Tanzanian village so foreign. Something was transfixed and held there—this shared moment of reading. We had all come together to imagine who this boy was, to sit in poignant silence after he melted into the rain.

Reading and writing can give voices to marginalized communities, like the children of developing countries, who do not have a concept of childhood. Reading for pleasure—much less writing for pleasure—is unheard of in Tanzania. Children often live to serve, whether they are government students carrying buckets of water and cleaning up classrooms, or street-children begging for money and food that their parents collect from them each night. But in Kwala, where NTC has worked to create literacy and education projects, reading and writing are quickly becoming their imaginative playgrounds.

Would it not be a strange sight to walk down the road and encounter a young girl calling out for a kitabu? And yet it happens here. At the very least, I am able to provide an escape from trying circumstances; at the most, inspiration, creativity, and a means to a better life. The potential routes of promoting an interest in literature are endless.

Yesterday, I set out with a book in hand to visit the family by the small dirt path. In awkward Kiswahili, I had promised to read with them after they had returned from their sun-dried sojourn. This, then, is an account of what happened, with all its burning lights and exaltations.

There is a certain slant to the light in Kwala that you cannot help but notice. It is less like seeing than being seen, existing in this luminary village half self-aware, half unconscious of where you are going or what you are doing. I catch it as I look at the plants beside the shortcut into the village. I tramp along as though I were setting out on an expedition into the jungle, when in reality I merely struggle to step lightly between the bramble and bushes that dot the sandy walkways. Suddenly, I remember I am in Tanzania; I have left America’s backyard; and I am here to….read. Really?

Stephen Graham described the same phenomenon in The Gentle Art of Tramping: “And as you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.” The light in Kwala is that great door, one that flashes an entrance when you least expect it.

Please, step inside.

We kneeled down on the mat together, the mother with her child snuggled between the book and her outstretched arms. I took a sip of water from my bottle and turned to read the title, Je, Mimi ni Nani? The letters on the page cohered into words that fell from my own tongue and lips. I pointed to cows that go moo! and chickens that screech koko riko! The boy stuck his small hand out and placed it on the picture of a cat. His mouth opened with the clear shape of an O and intoned: mpaka. Pig, they were not quite sure of—where would they see one in Kwala? But in this small moment of guessing games, I was reminded of how it feels to read for the first time. I myself became that boy or girl in Kwala, sifting through sentences, trying to form connections, creating my own meaning and value.

The mother smiled and thanked me as I got up gingerly from the ground. She offered me what looked like a variation on maandazi. I smelled the loam soil on her hands and the burnt cooking oil from afar. We spoke about those who had left and those who may return. I ate the cake. I gave the kid a pat on the shoulders. This world was enough.

Walking back home, I thought of nothing, my mind blank and cool. I was happy. It was then that I turned to look at the family, the mother playing with her child, and saw the light again through the trees. It enflamed the small figures around the shrubs and dirt mounds, as the colors ran to meet my feet on the grass. The sight had knocked me full force like the gale of some invisible being’s breath. I was sent out, scattered, all my faculties a blur. So here was what I was waiting for; here is what I will wait for. The light has long since died, but I am still burning its energy. I have only so much time here, only so much time to read with others, to live by necessity and without hesitation, to imagine and create my own language: a communion with the village, a mix of Kiswahili and English, of meetings and passings, greetings and exchanges, spreading literature as though it were a sacred rite or ritual. These lights come and go in Kwala, always dispersing and rarely loitering, but when they do arrive, the dry earth cracks open in a blaze, and somewhere a door opens between the sky and mountains.

So I stretch. So I continue to read.


August 22nd, 2010: Contributed by Project Director Emma Cohan

Hey Friends!

So I have to admit it’s a little intimidating to be writing my first blog as one of NTC’s project directors. I have been here for a little over a month and without realizing it some of the culture shock and newness have worn off and been replaced by routine and subconscious adjustment. Thus, I don’t really know where to begin in trying to express my perceptions of life here so far. Rather than attempt to start at the beginning I think I will just jump in with some of my reflections for the week.

The phrase that keeps sticking in my head this week is “It is our culture…”. It is used in various ways. Last night Alex (my fellow project director), Marika (a volunteer from the UK) and I cooked dinner with three of the primary school teachers. As we sat down on a straw mat in their courtyard they expressed concern over if we were comfortable sitting on the floor, even though it was “their culture” to eat and cook this way. We were so excited to be sharing our evening with these women and we gladly joined them on the mat. It felt very cozy and intimate to sit cross-legged together as we chatted and passed the chapati bowl around, adding ingredients. We stayed late into the night, “telling stories” (the Tanzanian phrase for socializing and joking around) and listening to music together. At the end of the night, our hosts insisted on walking us back home part way. When we told them they needn’t bother, they again explained to us that it was their culture to do so and that they enjoyed escorting us in this manner.

I heard the phrase again tonight when I was attempting to help the Msangi family carry water buckets from the water tap back to the house. As I struggled pathetically with a few small buckets, two of the teenage girls easily hoisted large buckets onto their heads and efficiently strode back to the house. They repeated the process several times, passing me as I progressed “pole pole”(slowly slowly). The girls consoled me that “it was their culture” to carry water buckets and that I too would eventually master the task. They also applauded my efforts at hauling water, saying that they were glad I was learning to live like them.

While one of NTC’s goals is to promote cultural exchange between communities on a wide scale, I also find myself continually amazed by the micro cultural interactions that I am privy to here by living in Kwala and working for NTC. Sometimes these exchanges are very explicit, like when the high school students teach me chants in Kiswahili or when Mr. Msangi tells me I need to have a dress tailored out of a kanga so I can look like a proper Tanzanian woman. Other times the glimpses I get into the culture are more subtle. From gossiping with some of the young women I learn indirectly about what dating is like here. From visiting Mama Annu while she is cooking I learn about eating etiquette. (It turns out that it is unacceptable to join for the cooking and leave without eating. This lesson came at the price of having to eat double dinners and a resultant stomachache).

The more I interact with people here, the more I realize how proud they are of their culture and see the confidence and pride with which they show it off. I find myself hoping that I too have something to offer as an ambassador from where I come from, on behalf of myself, family, and nation. However, negotiating a balance of allowing my individual and western differences to come through, while at the same time blending in respectfully to the norms of Kwala, can be a little tricky with my active lifestyle. Every time I ask advice on whether it is OK to play soccer in shorts or take driving lessons on a piki piki, the advice I always get is “just be free” from my friends in Kwala, yet sometimes I remain skeptical.

Fortunately for me, there have now been so many Western visitors to Kwala that the whole village is pretty immune to wazungu wachizi (crazy foreigners) and they seem to tolerate our antics with curiosity and amusement. Still, as a long term guest in Kwala I think it is important to be sensitive to respecting local values in order to avoid serious culture clashes. Fortunately, the more that I interact, ask questions, and continue to participate in cultural exchanges with an open mind, the more I think I will succeed in living in harmony here.

So I think that about covers my cultural insights after month one here. I look forward to sharing more with you all on this subject as I become more immersed in life in Kwala over the coming year.

Thanks for reading!

Emma

August 14, 2010: Contributed by Alan Rosenbaum, medical student and NTC volunteer

The opportunity to work in the Kwala dispensary has provided the means for me to learn about medicine in a Sub-Saharan African rural setting and to see cases that are rare in western hospitals. The experience has not disappointed, and throughout the course of my stay I saw many conditions that were relatively alien to me: terrible infections, bizarre skin conditions, crippling traumatic injuries, and debilitating developmental disorders. It is true there were the familiar foes, those common ailments that can be found the world over, but here these diseases seem all the more intimidating. Often patients lack access to health care so their illnesses fester and advance; they might delay seeking treatment until their state is unmanageable, waiting until it becomes so incapacitating that they have no other options. To make matters worse, it is not uncommon that their condition has been complicated by a prior visit to a tribal healer or witch doctor.

It is in this setting that I encountered a great concern for the local people: sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  The HIV epidemic of Sub-Saharan Africa needs no introduction – Tanzania has an estimated 7% of her people infected with HIV – but the unfolding catastrophe affects even the village of Kwala. Nearly 0.5% of the residents of Kwala are found to be new cases of HIV annually. Of particular concern is the fact that it is frequently students at the secondary school who seek care at the dispensary for STI symptoms, …

Click here to visit posting from our first Project Director, Lisa Walker

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NTC Travel Information http://newtontanzania.org/ntc-individual-travel-packet http://newtontanzania.org/ntc-individual-travel-packet#comments Sun, 06 Feb 2011 19:05:24 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=2940

NTC

Kwala, Tanzania

Travel Information Packet


Table of Contents

Content

Welcome Letter
1.0 Project/Event descriptions
2.0 Location information

2.1 Tanzania

2.2 Dar es Salaam

2.3 Zanzibar

2.4 Kwala Village

2.5 Mikumi National Park

3.0 Living in Kwala

3.1 Accommodations

3.2 Food

3.3 Water

3.4 Appropriate dress

3.5 Recommended Packing List

3.6 Currency

3.7 Time Differences

3.8 Internet Services

3.9 Telephone services

3.10 Transportation to Kwala

4.0 Staying safe in Tanzania
5.0 Staying healthy in Tanzania

5.1 Eating and drinking

5.2 Shots, medications, and health insurance

6.0 Costs and payment schedule
7.0 Visas
8.0 Contact Information
Trip Application


Welcome Letter

Dear Prospective Traveler,

Thank you for your interest in visiting and working with students and community members in Kwala, Tanzania!

NTC is a not for profit organization that has fostered a mutual relationship between the communities of Newton, Massachusetts and Kwala, Tanzania since 2006. Students from several and throughout Newton and the Northeast have been communicating with students in Kwala through cultural exchange projects fundraising initiatives have funded projects improving education in the Kwala School Community. NTC is committed to creating cross-cultural understanding and friendship by supporting international volunteer opportunities and we are thrilled to be hosting you.

We know that traveling to Africa can be a rather daunting task. We also understand that you will have many questions related to the process. We hope that this information packet will help answer most of those questions. However, we are more than happy to answer any additional questions which may arise. Please feel free to contact us using the contact information at the end of this packet.

We look forward to working with you and hope you can join us the community of Kwala!

Best wishes,

Ross Lohr

Executive Director

NTC


1.0            Project/Event Descriptions

With the exception of the Orientation and Tree Planting Project, the availability of any project or event is contingent upon the availability of on-site staff and your personal interest. Please fill out the attached application at the end of this packet and let us know which activities you wish to get involved with. We will try our best to accommodate your particular interests.

Orientation (required, no cost): Participate in an orientation session after arriving in Tanzania. This orientation will include a discussion of the basics of visiting Tanzania as well as what can be expected during your stay in Kwala.

Tree Planting Project (required, additional $1): Purchase a ‘mti wa matunda’ (fruit tree) to plant in NTC’s Visitors Orchard at Kwala Secondary School. Students will be selected to assist in the planting of the tree and will then be assigned to take care of the tree throughout the school year. In four to five years, the trees will produce fruit for the Kwala Secondary School Community.  This gesture will symbolize your lasting legacy in Kwala.

Reflections (optional, no additional cost): Discuss your experiences in Kwala and Tanzania with NTC’s onsite staff. We find that this is particularly important for travelers who have spent little time in Africa who will have encountered new cultural and socioeconomic situations that will spark both strong emotions and debate.

Swahili Lessons (optional, additional $10 per hour): Learn the basics of Swahili from Athuman Msangi, a teacher of Swahili and English in Tanzania for over 35 years.

Student Tour (optional, no additional cost): Take a tour of the village and schools, guided by students from Kwala Secondary School.  This tour provides visitors with the opportunity to connect with students of Kwala Secondary School on a personal level, as well as acquaint you with your surroundings in Kwala village.  We kindly request that you do not give any money to the students acting as your tour guides. You may buy the students a soda if you so choose for 500 TSH per soda.

American Culture Project (optional, you must provide all materials for your class as well as a thorough lesson plan, no additional cost): Teach one 40 minute class about any aspect of American culture. This activity should be preplanned and must be discussed with the NTC Program Director prior to your arrival. Any supplies necessary for the lesson should be brought to Tanzania from the United States or purchased prior to your visit to Kwala. Examples include teaching about a sport or popular game from the United States, an art project, or sharing music that is popular in the United States. Feel free to discuss your ideas with us prior to your visit!

Tanzanian Cooking Project: (additional $5 per person): Prepare a Tanzanian meal with some of the best cooks in the village.

YOUR project: Is there something you are passionate about or a skill you would like share with Kwala? Let us know how you want to be involved and make a difference. NTC encourages visitors to take ownership of their own project when visiting Kwala. Propose a project you would like to work on (either in the school or community) and the NTC committee in Kwala will discuss the feasibility and importance of your project for the Kwala School Community. NTC can help facilitate the purchase of materials necessary for the project, but all costs will be passed on to you and your fund raising team unless otherwise determined by you and NTC.  Please contact us if you require assistance or ideas for fundraising as we want to make this type of project as accessible as possible. We warmly welcome your addition to Kwala and NTC.

2.0            Location Information

2.1               Tanzania Overview

Country Profile

Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania

Area: 945,090 sq km

Population: 3,3000,000

Capital City: Dodoma

People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic Religion: 40% Christian, 35% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs

Government: Republic (multi-party state)

Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 3

Currency: Tanzanian Shilling

Dialing Code: 255

Electricity: 230V, 50Hz

Weights & measures: Metric

Language: A person who has a high school education speaks both English and Swahili. However, this is less common outside of the cities because many people cannot afford a high school education. There are over 100 tribes in Tanzania and each one has its own language, resulting in many people being tri-lingual; speaking Swahili, English, and the language of his/her tribe.

Average Temperature: Summer (January) – 88/82 Winter (July) – 83/74

Seasons: Rainy season – March – May, October – December

Dry season – June-September, January – March

Tanzania is blessed with spectacular scenery, prolific wildlife and a superb coastline, and has long attracted seekers of an exotic holiday from across the globe. Its rich history, cultural heritage, idyllic beaches and wildlife safaris complemented by the warm hospitality of the people make for a memorable experience.

Tanzania is a sub-Saharan country which lies on the East African coast and includes the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba and the continent’s highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro in the northern region. Dodoma is the capital, but Dar es Salaam is the main harbor and major trading centre. The current population is 35 million with a national growth rate of 2.8%. Tanzania is three hours ahead of GMT. Tanzania is home to the site of the oldest fossils of the human race, the Olduvai Gorge. The major language is Swahili with a small portion of the population speaking English and almost all Tanzanians speaking a second dialect. As a secular state, Tanzania is politically and socially stable. Economically, Tanzania has progressed due to reforms that lead to a private sector driven economy and currently has a GDP of about $800 per person. Despite these progressions, Tanzania continues to struggle with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and lacks basic infrastructure for advanced healthcare and education.

2.2             Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is an enticing mix of sight seeing, shopping and entertainment. The largest city in Tanzania reflects a fascinating blend of its rich historical past and its sophisticated, contemporary present. Dar es Salaam, which means “Haven of Peace” in Arabic, was given its name by Sultan Majid Bin Said of Zanzibar when he decided to use the harbor city as a port and trade center in 1857. Since then, the town has flourished and it is now the commercial hub of the country.

Dar es Salaam is a treasure trove for connoisseurs of art, Makonde carvings, TingaTinga paintings, bead, bone and malachite jewelry, basketry, spices, and colorful wrap-arounds called “kanga” “kitenge”. Batik and brassware are popular and excellent buys. The rare and brilliant Tanzanite gemstone, found only in Tanzania, makes a precious souvenir.

2.3             Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an island located roughly 25 miles off the coast of mainland Tanzania. Originally a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world, Zanzibar united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964. A tourist hub in Tanzania, Zanzibar is famous for its spices, beautiful beaches, and Stone Town, its historic center and a world heritage site.

According to Lonely Planet’s Website, “Almost every visitor arrives first at Zanzibar Town, the island’s main population centre and commercial hub. At the heart of Zanzibar Town is the old Stone Town, with its labyrinthine alleyways and fascinating architecture. Just beyond here, and within easy reach, is an unsurpassed collection of beaches where the sand is powdery white and the sea ethereal shades of turquoise.”

2.4             Kwala Village

Kwala Ward is located in the Kibaha-Pwani Coastal Region of Tanzania, just 50 miles west of the country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. It takes about two hours to travel to Kwala from the center of Dar es Salaam, the last 9 km by a deeply rutted dirt road off of Morogoro Road at the village of Vigwaza. Kwala Ward is comprised largely of subsistence farmers and some businesses such as small convenience shops, butcheries, and restaurants. In some ways, Kwala is better off than other villages. The village is fortunate to have a small hospital, Kwala Secondary School, Kwala Primary School, a water tower, and a new phone tower for its more than 5,000 residents. Electricity came to the village when it was extended to the local chicken farm. Despite these advantages, most residents still live on an average income of just one dollar per day.

Kwala Secondary School (KWASS) opened in July 2005 as a result of the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP). KWASS has thirteen staff members – six teachers, the headmaster, an assistant headmaster, two guards, two cooks, and a bursar – supporting 352 students in Forms One through Four (Forms Three and Four were added in 2006 and 2007, respectively). KWASS’s students primarily come from Kwala Ward, with some students walking three or four miles each way daily to attend school. Because of Kwala’s remote location, many students attending the school from outside of Kwala Village rent housing in the village at a cost of roughly three dollars per month per student (a significant amount for many families). Subjects include: Mathematics, History, Geography, Civics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Kiswahili, and English. English is the nationally-mandated language of instruction in secondary school. The school is divided into four performance troupes, regardless of Form, in which students direct and perform theater, song, and dance. KWASS also fields a soccer team which that participates in inter-school competitions.

In February 2009, NTC welcomed Mahundi Primary School into the NTC family when students and teachers at Mason-Rice Elementary School and Oak Hill Middle School of Newton, Massachusetts became interested in conducting cultural exchange projects similar to those taking place between Newton’s high schools and Kwala Secondary School. Mahundi Primary School, located in the Kwala Ward, teaches 361 students from standard one to standard seven. There is also one pre-primary classroom. Subjects taught are Kiswahili, geography, civics, science, mathematics, history, English, and life skills. The school also fields a soccer team, which competes against other teams in the region. Mahundi’s headmaster, Mr. Gunda, has been the headmaster at Mahundi Primary School for more than five years. Over 95% of the students attending Kwala Secondary School have graduated from Mahundi Primary School. It is the ward’s only primary school.

2.5             Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park lies just to the north of the famous Selous Game Reserve, and is the fourth largest national park in Tanzania. The park covers an area of 3,230 sq km, and features elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, giraffes, hippopotami, and crocodiles. Safaris through the park include a guide. We recommend going to visit this park only because of its proximity to Kwala and Dar-Es-Salaam. If you intend to spend more time in Tanzania and travel to the north, please contact us for more information regarding visiting the Serengeti or other national parks in the country.  We would love to assist you in arranging your safari!

3.0            Living in Kwala

3.1               Accommodations

Visitors of Kwala will stay with Kwala Secondary School and NTC staff at one of the school’s three staff houses located next to Kwala Secondary School. Depending on how many NTC staff are on site during your stay, you may be sharing your room with a member of the NTC team. You will be provided with a bed, sheets, pillow, and a mosquito net. Please contact us to see photos of your house and room.

3.2             Food

Three meals per day will be provided during your stay in Kwala. You will have the opportunity, if you so choose, to assist in the preparation of typical Tanzanian foods. Traditional Tanzania food includes rice, beans, cabbage, banana, peas, Ugali (thick porridge), chicken, beef, goat, and fish. All foods are served hot, and are typically served in some variety of stew. Drinks typically include coffee, tea, hot milk, bottled water, and fresh juices.  All foods are cooked properly and are safe to eat. If you have any special dietary needs or concerns, be sure to include that information in the application at the end of this packet.

3.3             Water

Clean, bottled drinking water can be purchased in the village and provided for you upon request, at a cost of 500 Tsh per liter (please see section 3.6 for currency information).

3.4                Appropriate Dress

While in Kwala, NTC and Kwala community members respectfully request that you abide by Tanzanian standards of dress. You may consider the rule “shoulders to knees.” Thus, you must make sure that your shoulders, knees, and everything in between is covered at all times during your visits to the school and village. For our female guests, be prepared to wear long skirts or dresses while at the school. You may wear long pants or Capri’s while in the village.  Please avoid spaghetti strap shirts or tank tops while in Kwala unless you intend to wear a sweater or shawl. For our male guests, please plan to wear casual work clothing while in the school area and jeans or khaki’s while visiting Kwala village. While at your home stay, you may be free to wear what you like.  We appreciate your willingness to abide by local dress codes.

Recommended Packing List

Pack light!  You won’t want to wear, wash, or carry nearly as much as you think you will.

Clothing

T shirts or casual shirts (shoulders and midriff must be covered at all times)

Casual work pants (for men) or skirts extending below the knee (for women)

Jeans or casual wear pants

Socks

Undergarments

Pajamas (light weight, its hot at night!)

Sneakers

Shower shoes

Sandals

Rain jacket (seasonal)

Miscellaneous Health (in addition to the medicine required for your trip as stated in section 5.2)

Towel (required)               Tums or Pepto-Bismol                   Dayquil and Nyquil

Small fan                             Anti-itch cream                                 Tylenol PM to help regulate sleep patterns

Hammock                           Sun block                                             Anti-diarrhea medication

Umbrella                             Bug spray (with deet)                     Advil or Tylenol

All medications prescribed by the travel clinic (see shots, meds, and travel insurance below)

Currency

The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling. While the exchange rate for the shilling does change on a day to day basis, this rate is currently in the range of $1.00 : TSH1,300. You may pay for all accommodations, etc., with either US dollars, Tanzanian shillings, or with a check made out to NTC. If you are planning to bring additional money to Tanzania and are bringing dollars, you can exchange money in many locations in Dar es Salaam. You will receive a better exchange rate if you use 50 or 100 dollar bills rather than lower denominations.

Time Difference

Tanzania is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time without day light savings. With daylight saving time, Tanzania is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Available Internet Services

Internet is not currently available in Kwala. We recommend taking your time in Kwala to enjoy a few days of disconnect. However, if you require internet services, it is readily available in Dar-Es-Salaam. We apologize for any inconvenience and will assist you if you so chose to travel to the city.

Telephone Services

The only cell phone coverage available in Kwala is through Zain, who has placed a tower in the village. To use a phone in Tanzania, you will need to purchase an international cell phone. Once in Tanzania, you will need to purchase a Zain sim-card at any convenience store or street stand. The sim card can be inserted into the back of your phone and will also provide your local Tanzanian phone number. International phones can be rented from NTC at a cost of 2 dollars per day, and sim cards must be purchased separately and are available in Kwala and throughout Tanzania in addition to the minutes you must purchase to use the phone.

Public Transportation to Kwala

Kwala can be reached by dalla dalla (public bus) and piki piki (motorcycle). From the postal station in Dar es Salaam city center, take the dalla dalla marked Ubungo-Postal to the Ubungo Bus Station, terminal 2. In the Ubungo bus station, you will find the dala dala marked Ubungo-Msata to the right of the terminal. Be sure to ask if you have trouble finding it; people are generally friendly and will assist you. Also be sure to watch your luggage as Ubungo is an easy place for people to pick pocket you. Once you find your bus, tell the driver that you need to be dropped at the Vigwaza Shell station.

You will take your dalla dalla west on Morogoro Road for about an hour and forty five minutes and get off at the Vigwaza Shell Station. This bus ride should cost you no more than 3,000Tsh. When you get off, you will see several men with motorcycles eager to help you. Ask to be taken to the home of Athuman Msangi at Kwala Secondary School. Travelling alone, you will be charged 3,000Tsh. If you chose to travel with somebody else (and you do not always have an option) you should only pay 2,000 Tsh. Be sure to ask for the price and bargain it down before getting onto the bike.  Avoid arriving past 6pm as many piki piki drivers will depart as it approaches dark and it is also less safe to be travelling alone at night. Those traveling with large bags may need to hire an additional piki piki.

For those traveling to Tanzania for the first time or who are unfamiliar with public transportation, it is highly recommended that you hire an NTC escort to pick you up from Dar es Salaam or the airport (see costs below).

4.0            Staying Safe in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and hospitable countries in the world, making it a very popular destination for tourists.  Still, as with any less-developed country, there are certain risks that visitors need to be aware of. NTC will work before and during the trip to ensure that all visitors remain safe while traveling to and within Kwala.

While in Tanzania, visitors should make sure to keep their belongings close and in sight at all times, especially when traveling or walking through Dar es Salaam. While luggage is safe in hotel rooms and teachers’ housing, petty theft can occur while in transit from one place to the next (although this is HIGHLY unlikely in Kwala village). You will not be permitted to travel alone around the village at night.

While many people fear that Africa is a dangerous place to visit, Tanzania is actually a very safe and peaceful country.  Past visitors to Tanzania have commented that they feel safer traveling in Tanzania than in some places in Boston. Dress appropriately, be aware of your surroundings, and you should not encounter any problems.

5.0            Staying Healthy in Tanzania

5.1               Eating and Drinking

Foods in Kwala and in restaurants are safe to eat. Outside of that, quite a few diseases, including hepatitis A and typhoid fever, are transmitted by unsanitary food handling procedures and contaminated water. Food and beverage precautions are essential in order to reduce the chance of illness. All non-bottled water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Travelers should use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. NTC will work to ensure that all foods and drinks purchased during your stay in Kwala are safe to consume. Aside from minor stomach issues, no visitors through Kwala have suffered food or drink related illnesses to date.

5.2             Shots, Medications, and Travel Insurance

You should see your physician at least 6 weeks before departure.

Shots for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A and B, Measles, Mumps, and Tetanus-Diphtheria are recommended. Malaria pills (Malarone) and anti-diarrhea prescriptions are also necessary.  Your primary care physician or physician at the travel clinic will provide all necessary information. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact us using the contact information at the end of this packet.

Please check with your health care provider to determine if you are covered for international travel. If not, we can provide it for you or you can purchase it at www.fourcorners.com. The cost will vary depending on how much coverage you wish to have, how long you will be traveling, and your age, but is generally in the range of 20-30 dollars per week.

Costs and Payment Schedule

NTC requires a minimum donation of $500 USD. This money is donated to the Kwala fund. To learn more about your donation and how this money is utilized, click here.

Additional fee’s include:

Accommodations in Kwala – $10 per person per day

Three meals per day – $10 per person per day

Escort to assist you in traveling to Kwala from Dar-Es-Salaam (optional) – $45 per person (including travel expenses and a meal)

  • This service will enable you to travel with an NTC staff member from Dar-Es-Salaam to Kwala using public transportation. The public transportation involved in this journey includes one bus ride (60km) and one motorcycle ride (18km). You will not be driving your own motorcycle but instead be sitting on the back of a motorcycle driven by a professional driver. Your luggage can be accommodated on the motorcycle. If you would prefer to hire a driving service or rent a car to drive yourself to Kwala, please contact us for more information.

Full on site coordination by NTC, including the arrangement of accommodations and projects and an orientation session – Donations are encouraged! (Recommended donation is $50 to $200 based on the length of your stay)

Swahili Lessons (optional) – $10 per hour

Phone Rental (optional) – $2 per day

Bottled Water – 500 Tsh per 1 liter bottle

NTC strives to make Kwala an affordable and welcoming place to visit. If you are concerned about the price of the trip, we encourage our group travelers to take on fundraising initiatives to cover the cost. For ideas on how to raise money for a personal trip, please feel free to contact us.

NTC is a 501 (c) (3) organization. All payments should be made out to NTC, and are tax-deductible.

Payment schedule – Payments should be received by NTC two weeks prior to arrival in Kwala. You can write a check to NTC, or pay by credit card on NTC’s website.

7.0            Visas

A tourist visa is required by the Tanzanian government for entry to Tanzania. Visas are easily obtained at the Tanzanian Embassy in New York City, and require a valid U.S. Passport and a $100.00 payment. NTC will not cover the cost of the visa. Volunteers are required to obtain their own visas. Please visit http://tanzania.visahq.com/ to learn more about the visa application process.

8.0       Contact Information

For more information on NTC, please visit their website at www.NewtonTanzania.org. Please feel free to contact us at Info@NewtonTanzania.org, or by calling (617) 290-9097.

NTC Individual Visitor

Information and Contract

Please fill out the following information for EACH visitor. If you are a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18, please fill out and sign a separate contract for each of your children.

Participant Information

Name____________________ Age___________________

Gender      F              M

Occupation___ __

Address_________________________________

Phone____________________

Email ____________________

Date of arrival in Kwala

Date of Departure from Kwala

Parent/Guardian Information (If under the age of 18)

Name____________________

Phone____________________

Email____________________

Emergency Contact:

Name____________________

Relationship____________________

Home Phone_________________ Work Phone________________

Email____________________

Do you have any medical conditions NTC should be aware of:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Allergies/Medications:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Participant signature _________________________

Parent/Guardian signature (If under 18)_____________________

Reminder: Payments are due at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival in Kwala!

Checks should be made out to NTC, and can be mailed to:

NTC

11 Wenham Rd.

Newton, MA 02461

All payments to NTC are tax-deductible.

Agreement between Visitor and Newton-Tanzania Collaborative, Inc.

1.         Participation

I agree that:

a)     I will participate in the projects organized for the visit.

b)     I will respect the culture and ethics of the residents of the village and others.

c)      I will maintain a tolerant, flexible and respectful attitude toward the local people and customs.

2.         Responsibilities

a.      I am responsible for abiding by government laws and regulations of the country(ies) I am visiting.

b.      I am solely responsible for procuring the appropriate travel visa(s).

c.       I am solely responsible for taking all appropriate medical precautions and vaccines required or recommended for the trip.

d.      I am in satisfactory health, sufficient for the rigors of the visit.

3.         Rules

a)     I will abide by the rules of NTC and local housing placements.

b)     I will refrain from the use of profane, insulting, or otherwise offensive language for the extent of the visit.

c)      I understand that the use of narcotics, drugs, or other illegal substances will result in immediate expulsion from the program and will be reported to responsible government authorities.

d)     I understand that any activities considered criminal in Tanzania will result in immediate expulsion from the program and will be reported to responsible government authorities.

4.         Behavior

a)     I will display tolerance for delays, local practices, conditions and/or behaviors, some of which I may find disturbing.

b)     I will display tolerance and understanding that people I meet may have vastly different ideological, racial and cultural backgrounds.

5.         Payment

a)     I will make my tax-deductible payment to NTC in two weeks advance of my arrival to Kwala. This payment is non-refundable.

6.         Waiver and Release

I understand and agree that:

a)     My participation may expose me to significant risks, including but not limited to terrorism, war, serious bodily injury or death, property damage and other risks that may not be foreseeable.

b)     NTC is NOT responsible for my safety and I assume full responsibility for all risks associated with my travel.

c)      It is my responsibility to remain informed of safety and health information pertaining to my destination. I will register with my home country’s Embassy, Consulate, and/or State Department.  (U.S. Dept. of State:  http://travel.state.gov)

d)     If I am bringing minors to Kwala (under the age of 18), I will take full responsibility for my child.

e)     I understand I am solely responsible for any damages caused to property by me, and I understand that NTC is not responsible for any damages caused by me.

f)       If I am removed due to non-compliance with this agreement, or leave the program under any circumstances, the program fee is non-refundable.

I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE READ AND AGREE WITH ALL TERMS & CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT.  I THEREFORE RELEASE, WAIVE, DISCHARGE AND CONVENANT NOT TO SUE NTC, ITS EMPLOYEES, PRINCIPALS OR AGENTS, OR ANY OF NTC’S IN-COUNTRY PARTNERS AND AGENTS, FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY CLAIMS, DEMANDS, ACTIONS AND CAUSES OF ACTION WHATSOEVER ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO ANY LOSS, DAMAGE OR INJURY, INCLUDING DEATH OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS PROGRAM OR ATTENDANT TRAVEL.

I FURTHER AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND SAVE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE ABOVE NAMED PERSONS AND EACH OF THEM FROM ANY LOSS, LIABILITY, DAMAGE OR COSTS THEY MAY INCUR AS A RESULT OF MY TRAVELS.  IT IS MY EXPRESS INTENT THAT THIS RELEASE SHALL BIND MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY, AND SPOUSE, IF I AM ALIVE, AND MY HEIRS, ASSIGNS AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES, IF I AM DECEASED, AND SHALL BE DEEMED AS A RELEASE, WAIVER, DISCHARGE AND CONVENANT NOT TO SUE THE ABOVE NAMED PERSONS.

Date: _____/_____/_____

Participant’s Signature: _________________________

As parent or legal guardian, I am signing this document on behalf of my minor child and agree to be specifically bound to all terms and conditions of this Agreement. I have read the Agreement, fully understand its terms, understand that I have given up substantial rights by signing it, and have signed this document freely and voluntarily without any inducement, assurance or guaranty being made to me.  I intend my signature to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law and further agree to indemnify, save and hold harmless the above persons.

Date: _____/_____/_____

Guardian’s Name: ____________________________

Guardian’s Signature: ____________________________

The Newton-Tanzania Collaborative, Inc.

11 Wenham Road

Newton, Massachusetts   02461-1124

Federal ID# 20-4980738

Contact:         info@newtontanzania.org

Phone:                       01.617.290.9097

Name: ______________________

Program Preferences

Please help us make this an incredible experience for both you and the community members of Kwala. Please select those activities which you are most interested in participating in. We hope to be able to accommodate all of your interests. Once we receive your application, NTC will send you an invoice for the trip, the price of which will depend on your interests for your stay in Kwala.

Reflections: A time for you to sit with onsite NTC staff to informally discuss your experiences in Kwala. We find that this is particularly important for travelers who have spent little time in Africa as you will be encountering new cultural and socio economic situations which often spark both emotion and debate.

Would you like to participate in this program?                    YES                        NO

Swahili Lessons: (additional $10 per hour) You will be taught the basics of Swahili by Athuman Msangi, a teacher of Swahili and English in Tanzania for over 35 years.

Would you like to participate in this program?                    YES                                        NO

Do you have any prior experience with Swahili?                  YES                                        NO

If yes, how much?            BEGINNER                                         INTERMEDIATE              ADVANCED

How many hours would you like to take? __________

Student Tour: Two Kwala Secondary School students will be asked to give you a tour of the school and village.  The student tour provides visitors with the opportunity to connect with students of Kwala Secondary School on a personal level, as well as get comfortable with their surroundings in Kwala village.

We kindly ask that you do not pay or tip the students for giving you a tour, but you may feel free to buy them sodas in the village. Each soda costs 500 TSH and you may be placed with up to 4 students (though others may tag along).

Would you like to participate in this program?                    YES                                        NO

American Culture Project: You teach a class about an aspect of American culture. This activity should be premeditated by you and must be discussed with the NTC Director prior to your arrival. Any supplies necessary for the lesson should be brought to Tanzania from the United States or purchased prior to your visit to Kwala. Ideas for activities can include (but are not limited to) a sport or popular game from the United States, an art project, or sharing music that is popular in the United States.  We strongly recommend that you participate in this program. It’s an easy way to get involved with Kwala’s schools, students, teachers, and citizens.

Would you like to participate in this program?                    YES                                        NO

Objective of lesson:                                                                                                                                                             .

.

Tanzanian Cooking Project: (additional $7 per person) You will have the opportunity to prepare a Tanzanian meal with some of the best cooks in the village.

Would you like to participate in this program?                    YES                                        NO

Please list any allergies or preferences .

Transportation to Kwala: (additional $45 per person)

Would you like an escort to take you from Dar-Es-Salaam to Kwala?     YES                      NO

YOUR project:

Would you like to propose a project to NTC’s Kwala Committee for your trip?     YES               NO

Project Proposal:______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Classroom to Classroom Reading Program Lesson Plan http://newtontanzania.org/lesson-plan http://newtontanzania.org/lesson-plan#comments Sun, 06 Feb 2011 13:35:06 +0000 admin http://newtontanzania.org/?p=2927 Provided by NTC

Lesson Goal: Expand student understanding of different cultures and countries.

Lesson Objectives: American students will be able to discuss the similarities and differences between American and Tanzanian culture, and begin engaging their African counterparts through the sharing of a story.

Appropriate for grades: 1-5

Class size: 20-30 students

Lesson Length: 60 minutes

Materials:

1. Large World Map

2. Kwala DVD  (Provided by NTC)

3. Class set of Africa maps (Provided by NTC)

4. Class set of books (Provided by NTC)

5. Class set of worksheets (Provided by NTC)

6. Colored pencils or crayons

Explanation: (10 min)

  1. Display world map. Ask students, “Who can point to where we live?”
  2. Explain that we live in the city of Boston, in the state of Massachusetts, in the country of The United States of America, on the continent of North America
  3. Ask students what other continents they know
  4. Distribute the NTC map of Africa to students
  5. Explain that today the class will travel to the village of Kwala, in Coastal Region, in the country of Tanzania, on the continent of Africa. Point to its location on the world map
  6. Have students color in the country of Tanzania using their colored pencils or crayons
  7. Ask the students who the American president is
  8. Ask the students if they know where his family is from
  9. Show the students that President Obama’s family is from the country of Kenya, just north of Tanzania. Pinpoint it on the map.

Activity: (10 min)

  1. Watch Kwala DVD
  2. DVD ends with students singing “Simama Kaa,” led by Tanzanian students in the video. Have students stand and sing along to “Simama Kaa.”
    1. Vocabulary from the film:

i.      Simama: Stand up

ii.      Kaa: Sit down

iii.      Ruka: jump

Discussion: (7 min)

  1. Ask students what they do that students in Tanzania do as well (go to school, play sports, etc as seen in the Kwala video)
  2. Ask what differences exist between the lives of Tanzanians and those of American students (refer to Kwala video)

Activity: (15 minutes)

  1. Read story.
  2. Explain that story is written by a Tanzanian author.

Activity: (15 minutes)

  1. Have students draw their answers on the worksheet

Activity: (3 minutes)

  1. Explain that students in Tanzania will now read the same story and fill out the other side of the worksheet. The students should receive their worksheets, completed by their Tanzanian friends, within the next three weeks. At that point, you will continue discussing similarities and differences between cultures by exploring their Tanzanian friends drawings.

If you require further assistance with your lesson, feel welcome to contact info@newtontaniza.org

Horace Mann Classroom to Classroom Reading Project 093

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